This is the super-duper uber-econ-geekiest t-shirt of all time. It compares Keynes and the Austrians, using graphs drawn from the work of Roger Garrison. The color is: green like a chalkboard. The phrase capital is heterogeneous appears inauspiciously on the front pocket. The graph is on the back, with a key and explanation.
What's exceptionally beautiful here - and, yes, you have to be pretty nerdy to get the beauty part - is the comparison of the preposterously simplified world of Keynes with the deep dynamism of the Austrian model. The Keynesian model appears as a false front that masks incredible complexity that resides deep within the capital structure.
The Austrian part shows a world with time and interest rates that do the work of coordinating complex production plans that are rooted in a profoundly heterogeneous capital stock. If you mess around with the interest rates - as the Fed does all the time - you introduce false signals that destabilize investment patterns.
The more you look at the graph, the more you realize that it accounts for the whole of the boom-bust cycle. We've got the business cycle theory on a t-shirt.
Should this not get the award for the geekiest or maybe the smartest t-shirt of all time? Is there even such an award?
If someone asks you the meaning, you could trap that person for an hour and explain it all. Or you could just say: it shows that the economy is too complicated for the boneheads at the Fed or in Congress to manage!
Obviously, this t-shirt is not for everyone. But it might be for you.
Gildan Ultra Cotton Heavy Weight, long-sleeve.
The phrase: Capital is Heterogeneous printed in white on left chest. The graph, explanation, and key are printed on the back.
The print reads: "In the foreground is the Keynesian fiction, in which consumption plus investment (plus government spending) equals output. In the back is the Austrian reality, in which a heterogeneous capital stock responds to changes in the interest rate by shifts in the time structure of production. Intervention in credit markets thus creates distortion that generate the business cycle. "
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Austrian Economics, Freedom and Peace